Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accident Claims
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How Long Will It Take To Settle My Truck Accident Claim In New Mexico?
Unfortunately, there is no fixed timeframe for resolving a truck crash case. However, an experienced truck accident lawyer can explain the factors that can make it take longer to complete your settlement and help you receive all the compensation you deserve for your injuries under New Mexico law.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Truck Crash Claim in New Mexico?
A truck collision claim where no one suffered any injuries and the damages to the vehicles are minor may be settled within a few months. However, most truck accident cases are more complicated. It can take months, a year, or longer for these claims to be resolved, especially if a lawsuit is filed and the case is litigated.
What Factors Can Make It Take Longer to Resolve a New Mexico Truck Accident Case?
Truck collision cases can take much longer to complete than car crash claims. Several factors can increase the time it will take for you to resolve your case. Understanding these factors can at least give you a sense of how long you will need to fight with the insurance company. Some common factors that prolong the resolution of these claims include the following.
Investigation Into the Cause of the Truck Crash
Determining the cause of a truck wreck can take longer than if only autos were involved in the collision. Violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations may have caused or contributed to the crash.
In addition, more parties could face liability for causing the truck accident. Potentially liable parties include:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Shipping company
- Truck maintenance company
- Truck and parts manufacturing companies
It may take your attorney a long time to collect the evidence you need to prove how your truck crash occurred. They may need to hire expert witnesses, such as an accident reconstruction expert or an engineer, to help determine the cause of the collision.
Your Medical Improvement
Under New Mexico law, you are entitled to your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in your settlement. You cannot know your future damages until you recover fully from your injuries or recover as much as you can, and your doctor can give you a final prognosis. If you suffered multiple injuries—common in a truck wreck—it could take months or longer to reach this stage in your medical treatment.
Seriousness of Your Injuries
The value of your claim will be higher if you suffered long-term injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, back or spinal injury, or internal organ damage. The insurance company will fight longer and harder to deny your claim, reduce the compensation they must pay you, and delay paying you if they know your claim’s value is high.
New Mexico Settlement Negotiations
Once the investigation into the cause of your truck accident has been completed, your lawyer would send the insurance company a demand letter outlining how their insured’s negligence caused the crash, the seriousness of your injuries, and the compensation you are seeking. The insurance adjuster would review the letter and most likely raise disputes about their liability or the damages you should receive.
Your lawyer and the insurance company could go through lengthy offers and counteroffers before settling your case. Depending on the disputes the insurance company raises, your attorney may need to collect additional evidence or hire expert witnesses to resolve them.
In addition, settlement negotiations can be prolonged when more than one party faces liability. It could take your lawyer longer to resolve multiple claims, and a settlement with one party may be contingent on a favorable settlement with another party.
If the statute of limitations, which is the deadline you have to sue, will expire soon, or the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement, your lawyer will need to file a lawsuit and litigate your claim. While your case will likely be settled before your jury trial date, litigation can significantly increase how long it takes to resolve it.
Contact a Roswell Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a family member were injured in a truck collision in Roswell or Southeast New Mexico, our skilled truck accident lawyers are here to explain your options and fight for the damages you deserve. Call our Roswell office at 575-300-4000 or complete our online form today to schedule your free initial consultation today.
How Soon Should I Contact A Lawyer After A Truck Accident?
Reason #1: Determine the Cause of the Truck Crash
Truck accidents are very complicated because of the size and weight of a big rig truck and the federal regulations truck drivers and trucking companies must follow to prevent wrecks. Your lawyer would thoroughly investigate the cause of the truck accident to prove that the truck driver and trucking company’s negligence caused your crash. Speeding, distracted driving, intoxication, and drowsy driving are a few common ways truckers cause devasting truck accidents.
Reason #2: Collect Evidence
You must prove the trucker and trucking company’s negligence, the seriousness of your injuries, and the damages you deserve to be entitled to compensation under New Mexico law. You establish this through the use of evidence. It is important to begin collecting the evidence you need right after the truck crash before it is lost or destroyed.
An attorney will know the types of evidence you need to win your case and will collect it for you. Some of the information could be challenging to obtain because the trucking company may have it. They would be unwilling to give it to you unless they are forced to by a lawyer.
There are many types of evidence you could need to prove your claim. Some common types of evidence your lawyer may collect include:
- Police report
- Eyewitness statements
- Photos and videos of the crash
- Truck black box
- In-cab camera
- Trucker’s logbook
- Receipts from the truck driver’s trip
- Trucker’s personnel file
- Cellphone records
- Trucker drug and alcohol testing results
- Maintenance records for the truck
- Medical records
- Paystubs and other documentation for your lost wages claim
Reason #3: Avoid Mistakes
Trying to deal with the insurance company on your own can be very frustrating. You could make mistakes that they could use to try to deny your claim, delay settling your claim, or try to pay you less compensation than you deserve. In addition, the insurance adjuster could try to get you to agree to give a recorded statement, sign a release so they can obtain all your medical records, or convince you to accept a lowball settlement offer.
Reason #4: Negotiate Your Settlement
Your lawyer will take over all communications with the insurance company and negotiate your settlement with them. They will have strategies to defeat the insurance adjuster’s arguments about their liability to pay you or the value of your claim and will fight so that you receive the full value of your claim. You are much more likely to receive the maximum recovery in your settlement if a skilled attorney represents you.
Reason #5: Meet Deadlines and Litigate Your Case
A lawyer will know the statute of limitations, which is the deadline you have to file your case, and will file a lawsuit for you before it expires. They would also sue the trucker and trucking company if their insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement. You need an attorney who is not afraid to take your case to a jury trial if necessary and would aggressively litigate your claim.
Were you or a family injured in a truck collision in Roswell or Southeast New Mexico? Our dedicated truck accident lawyers are here to fight for your rights. Schedule your free initial consultation today by calling our Roswell office at 575-300-4000, starting a live chat, or filling out our online form.
Who Is Responsible For Compensating Me For My Truck Accident Injuries And Other Damages?
You could suffer more catastrophic injuries in a truck accident than a car accident due to the greater size and weight of a commercial truck. If you want to receive all the compensation you deserve for your injuries, it is crucial that you identify the correct liable parties and file claims with their insurance companies.
Parties Who Could Be at Fault and Liable to Compensate You in a New Mexico Truck Accident
There are many causes of truck accidents, and some of them involve the negligence of parties other than the truck driver. An experienced truck accident lawyer can conduct an extensive investigation into the cause of your crash and identify the parties who are responsible for compensating you. Here are common parties who could face liability:
- Truck driver. A truck driver’s negligence is the most common cause of truck crashes. Distracted driving, speeding, intoxication, and violations of the federal hours of service regulations limiting the hours they can work without a break are some of the ways at-fault truckers cause tragic wrecks.
- Trucking company. A trucking company can be held vicariously liable for the negligent actions of its truck driver. In addition, you may have a separate claim against them for hiring an unqualified truck driver or failing to train him, not inspecting and maintaining the truck, or violating the federal hours of service or other federal regulations.
- Shipper. The shipper is responsible for properly loading and securing the load that is being transported. If the load was not loaded properly or was not secured, this could have caused or contributed to your truck accident, and the loading company would be responsible for compensating you.
- Maintenance company. Trucking companies frequently contract with third-party maintenance companies to perform the inspections and maintenance on their commercial fleet required under federal regulations. If the maintenance company failed to properly inspect or repair the truck, a tire blowout, brake failure, or other repair problem could have been the cause of your accident.
- Manufacturer. If a truck part was not designed or manufactured properly, this could have caused the trucker to lose control of his truck in your collision. If this was why your accident happened, you may have a product liability claim against the parts and truck manufacturer.
Were you injured in a truck accident in Roswell? Our skilled truck accident lawyers are here to determine the cause of your crash and pursue claims against all potentially responsible parties so that you receive the maximum recovery you deserve. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about our extensive experience in these cases and how we can assist you.
What Is The Time Period To Sue In My Truck Accident Case?
You only have a short window of time to file a lawsuit against the negligent trucker and trucking company that caused your truck accident. If you miss this deadline, it can have devastating consequences on your right to compensation for your injuries.
What Is the Statute of Limitations to File a Truck Crash Lawsuit in New Mexico?
One of the most important laws to understand if you or a loved one were hurt in a truck collision in Roswell is the deadline, which is referred to as the statute of limitations, to file your lawsuit. The time period you have to do so will be different depending on the type of claim you are pursuing. Here are the time periods you have to sue for cases involving:
- Personal injuries. You have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for personal injuries you suffered.
- Property damage. You must file a lawsuit for property damages within four years of the date of the wreck.
- Wrongful death. If a loved one died in the truck accident, you must file a wrongful death action within three years of the date of his death—not the date of the collision.
What Happens If You Try to File Your Lawsuit After the Statute of Limitations Expired?
If you fail to file your complaint before the deadline to do so expires, the insurance company for the trucker and trucking company will most likely raise this as a defense, and the judge would dismiss your case. While there is technically no time period to file a claim with the insurance company, they would have no incentive to offer you a settlement if they know that you waited too long to sue.
Can the Statute of Limitations Be Extended?
In limited situations, the window of time to file a lawsuit can be extended under New Mexico law. You may have more time to sue if one of the following applies:
- The defendant was out of the state for an extended period of time, and you were unable to file a lawsuit against him during the statute of limitations.
- You are a minor under 18 years old. Once you turn 18 years old, you would have an additional year to file your lawsuit.
- You are mentally incompetent. Once you become competent, you would have one year to sue the negligent parties.
The best way that you can be certain that you file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires and obtain the compensation you deserve is to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer in Roswell as soon as possible. To learn of our track record of success in these cases and how we can assist you, start a live chat to schedule your free consultation today.